If I’ve learned anything in these past months since having our daughter, it’s that time goes by too fast. How do we enjoy what comes and goes so quickly?
I remember my own childhood and thinking a day lasted forever, the month prior to my birthday was too long, then a school year was an eternity, and finally the nine months until I met my daughter dragged on.
Now here I am four months into motherhood, hardly remembering that day in July, feeling as far from it as my own birth.
I blinked and here we are. The outfit she was drowning in at the hospital barely fits, her hair is almost to her eyes, and she is about to be on the move. This little perfect being that hardly seemed real is now her own tiny person.
And I should be happy that she’s growing, happy that she’s hitting her milestones, happy that we get to know more about her each day, but I find myself grieving a bit.
Missing the things that have already gone and feeling the need to soak in every tiny moment can be exhausting. It makes you feel a little strange stuck in the loop of excitement for the future but grief for the past.
Our baby has already sized out of her newborn clothes and is floating between the next two sizes. Why does no one warn you about the pain of putting away a size too small?!
So after putting on a sleeper and seeing her toes curl up at the bottom, we bit the bullet and put away her newborn clothes. Every item brought back memories of sweet newborn moments and new lessons learned. We tearfully laughed through folding away the first blowout outfit. And cried putting up the outfit we brought her home in.
I thought I wasn’t going to get through it. But then I learned a heartbreak saving trick.
To find the sugar in the bittersweet.
Ugh metaphors, I know, but stick with me. Just as I was dragging my feet to start this process I saw a post from a foster mom who had just taken in a newborn needing some items. This was the push I needed to get through the pile of clothes.
So we began sorting. We made three piles:
- To save for our next child
- Special pieces to be made into a quilt a teddy bear
- All the other precious clothing items for a brand new baby in need of some extra love
All of a sudden, this daunting task became something filled with joy. You see, by finding purpose and something sweet to look towards it took the bitterness out of a difficult transition.
Five Quick Ways to Commemorate a Transition in your Life
- Make a keepsake. Such as a onesie quilt or a shadow box
- Take all the pictures and videos. We made a shared album with our family that also plays as a slideshow on our tv. Oftentimes you can find us sitting and watching with cheesy smiles.
- Share it out. Make a post, create a video, send a card. Welcome people into the moment to celebrate it with you.
- Pay it forward. Like we passed on our baby clothes, see if there is a way you can transition in donation. Such as paying for that new mom’s coffee because you remember those sleepless nights or cooking meals for the new parents.
- Practice gratitude. Take the time to write out why that season meant so much to you and what you are looking forward to in the next. This is a beautiful way to understand your emotions better and have a way to share them with your child later.
So as I enjoy these last moments of a stationary baby and look forward to helping to teach her how to explore, I want to share a dream with you. My hope for you is that as these moments continue to pass by us we will find ways to celebrate what is gone and welcome in the new.